Anderson v. Hilton Hotels Corp.Annotate this Case
Petitioner was the victim of an armed robbery, carjacking, and shooting that occurred in the parking lot of an Embassy Suites hotel. Petitioner filed a negligence action against Hilton Hotels and related companies (collectively, Respondents). Following one mistrial, the parties commenced a second trial. Ultimately, the jury found that Petitioner sustained a total of $1.7 million in damages, and the trial court entered judgment in accordance with the verdict. Thereafter, Petitioner filed a motion for attorneys’ fees. The trial court denied the motion. The Fifth District affirmed, concluding that Petitioner’s pretrial offers of settlement to Respondents did not satisfy the requirements of Fla. Stat. 768.79 and Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.442. The Supreme Court quashed the decision below, holding that the plain language of both section 768.79 and Rule 1.442 indicated that Petitioner was entitled to attorneys’ fees because he submitted sufficient offers to settle his claims against Respondents and obtained satisfactory judgments in his favor.